The Caves & Cliffs update for Minecraft showed us a lot of exciting new features, but the showcase didn’t delve very deep on all of the upcoming changes. We saw a lot about the Lush Caves biome, but it’s not the only underground biome that’s coming to the Minecraft 1.17 update as the Dripstone Caves were also shown off briefly.
Unlike the Lush Caves, the Dripstone Caves are the closest to vanilla Minecraft’s underground areas. If anything, they seem a fair bit like the massive and open cave areas that are already in the game, just with a whole bunch of extra cave stuff – that’s an official term, cave stuff.
Still, bog-standard caves are now their own proper biome, and while Mojang kept quiet on a lot of their features during Minecon 2020, there are still things to talk about. But before we go too far into this, let’s give the customary disclaimer about what exactly the difference is between stalactites and stalagmites. Stalactites are the rock spikes that form on the ceiling, while stalagmites are the spikes that form from the ground. A useful way to remember it would be to look at the spelling: Stalactites = ceiling, Stalagmites = ground. Honestly, what would you do without us.
Let’s begin with the ceiling dwelling stalactites. These can fall down if you break them at the base and will hurt you or other entities if you stand underneath them. They also drip water that can be collected with cauldrons, which gives you an infinite water resource. If you pop one of these from afar with an arrow then you might be able to clear out some Minecraft mobs below.
Stalagmites, on the other hand, are essentially just massive spikes. Should anything fall on top of them, they will take a large amount of damage. They can also be broken and disintegrate in much the same way as a falling stalactite. You can collect both stalactite and stalagmite pieces once broken, which could be useful for making things, but we have no idea what just yet.
Sadly, this was all that was revealed about the Dripstone Caves. We don’t know what mobs will spawn and whether any unique items will appear here – it appears zombies will definitely appear here, but that’s hardly a surprise. However, there is sure to at least be something here announced later down the line.
In the meantime, why not check out details on some of the other updates? Copper was also revealed during Minecraft Live, as well as details about three new mobs: the warden, the goat, and the axolotl. We hope to learn what’s lurking in the Dripstone Caves soon!